Prosecutors Recommend 6 Months Of Prison For Ray Epps | JP


Federal prosecutors requested on Tuesday that Ray Epps, a mysterious January 6 figure some theorized to be a federal informant, be given half a year in prison for his participation in the U.S. Capitol breach in 2021.

A court filing in Washington, D.C., said the government recommends the “high end of the applicable guidelines range” of six months of incarceration, one year of supervised release, and $500 in restitution after the 62-year-old Epps pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds. Epps is reportedly set to face sentencing next Tuesday.

“Such a sentence protects the community, promotes respect for the law, and deters future crime by imposing restrictions on Epps’ liberty as a consequence of his behavior, while recognizing his acceptance of responsibility for his crime, his efforts to deescalate conflicts between rioters and police officers, and his cooperation with the FBI and Congress,” prosecutors said of their recommendation.

The 29-page filing discussed how Epps, a former U.S. Marine and ex-Oath Keeper who questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 election, encouraged people to march to the U.S. Capitol and later joined the “mob” of rioters as they stormed their way through barricades onto restricted grounds in the West Plaza and participated in a “group push” of a metal-famed “Trump” sign against law enforcement officials trying to stop their advance. “Even if Epps did not physically touch law enforcement officers or go inside of the building, he undoubtedly engaged in collective aggressive conduct,” prosecutors said.

Prosecutors also credited Epps with least five efforts to “deescalate conflict and avoid violence between rioters and police officers,” speaking voluntarily with the FBI and Congress, and expressing “what appears to be sincere remorse” for his actions on January 6, the actions of others, and “the damage to democracy.” In addition, they cited the “widespread impact by the conspiracy theory that he was acting as a federal agent on January 6” — a claim the government rejected — that led to Epps to file a defamation lawsuit against Fox News.

In December, which marked 35 months since the Capitol breach, the Department of Justice said more than 1,237 defendants had been charged in nearly all 50 states and the District of Columbia over the “attack” on the U.S. Capitol that disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress in which lawmakers were meeting to certify President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory over former President Donald Trump. Hundreds of individuals have pleaded guilty or been convicted after trials, including four Oath Keepers on a charge of seditious conspiracy. The group’s founder, Stewart Rhodes, got 18 years behind bars.

Trump, who is now seeking re-election in 2024 despite facing his own slew of criminal prosecutions — including some related to the 2020 election and the U.S. Capitol breach — said in May of last year he would likely pardon a large portion of the January 6 defendants if given a second term.

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